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Hot summer ends as drought eases

hot summer
Gin Gin State High School students Violet Lange and Kelsey Button enjoyed warm summer weather at the Elliott Heads beach volleyball competition.

Summer in Bundaberg was hotter than usual but rainfall returned to normal in January and February after a dry month in December.

The hottest temperature recorded in December, January and February was 36.2 degrees on 5 December while the coolest overnight minimum was 18.4 on 20 December.

February recorded the first above-average rainfall for over a year with 162mm in the gauge at Bundaberg Airport.

The long-term mean for February is 156mm.

January was close to its 171mm mean with 141mm recorded.

The average maximum in February was 31.4, which is 1.3 degrees higher than normal.

In December the variance was 2.8 degrees with an average high of 32.5 while January was 1.3 degrees warmer (31.7 compared to 30.4 mean).

Hot summer leads into warm autumn

The weather bureau says daytime temperatures for autumn (March to May) are likely to be above average across most of Australia, although days have roughly equal chances of being above or below average in the south.

After the hot summer, autumn night-time temperatures are very likely to be warmer than average for most Australia.

April to June is also likely to see warmer than average days and nights for most of the country.

“Warmer seas around Australia and long-term climate change is likely influencing this temperature outlook,” the bureau says.

“Australia's climate has warmed by around 1.4 degrees since 1910.”

Queensland is likely to have a drier March than usual (60-70 per cent chance).

“While recent rainfall over parts of eastern Australia has eased the dry in a number of areas, long-term rainfall deficiencies continue for almost a third of the country,” the bureau says.

“Several months of above average rainfall may be required to replenish water storages and raise streamflows.”

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